Ross leaves PC World behind for Filtered Media

By Phil Sim in Media News on
IDG’s PC World is on the lookout for a new editor, with Nick Ross’ long and colourful career as a technology journalist winding up next month as he becomes the latest hack to flip across into content marketing.
 
Ross will join Filtered Media, the content marketing firm founded by another former technology journalist Mark Jones, in four weeks time.
 
“It’s sad to be leaving journalism, but I’m looking forward to doing something different”, Ross told Influencing.
 
Because as Ross points out, technology journalism has “been my life” for the last 15 years. Ross arrived in Australia from the UK in 2005 to take on the role of editor of PC Authority, before embarking on a number of considerable challenges. These included founding his own digital magazine publishing entity, launching a tech-focused site on the ABC network, taking over the PC World editorship and having a crack at a publishing-tech start-up.
 
And while his new role in content marketing, is certainly another change-up, he doesn’t believe it will be all that different to the work he has been doing at PC World.
 
“What I’ve been doing for the past year and a half, has pretty much been content marketing, SEO optimisation with a bit of journalism mixed in,” he said.
 
“So really I’ll be doing much the same thing, just for private companies.”
 
Ross points out that his most recent job description, shows just how much the world of journalism has changed over the last decade.
 
“A lot of what I do now is marketing content, so as it comes on top of Google,” he said. “A huge proportion of publisher’s traffic these days comes from Google so if you’re going to write a review you’ve also got to know how to get it to the top of Google.”
 
Ross said he was attracted to working at Filtered, in particular, because he felt that CEO Mark Jones “gets the whole media landscape is changing weekly,” and with the gradual decline in the journalism ranks he feels that content marketing can only increase its share of the marketing pie

Not that Ross hasn’t given his best, at trying to do something positive for the publishing sector. For the past couple of years, Ross has been trying to launch a micro-payment start-up called Nanotransactions that would let readers pay tiny amounts based on factors like the amount of time they spent on a site. However, like his journalism career, Nanotransactions is being shelved for the moment.
 
That was result of being “badly let down” by his technical partners that had promised to build out the service, but had failed to get the product to launch.
 
“It was meant to be four weeks of work away from launch in March last year. By October, I was saying to them “where is it”? In the meantime, I’d been offered trials with publications in Australia like the SMH, and one large overseas player, and everyone was “sounds great, show it to us, and we’re interested”.

“But they just never delivered, so I’ve cut them loose and stopped it for now.”
 
Certainly Ross’s career has had its high and lows, probably more so than most. He said he was immensely proud, in the first instance, at reversing declining circulation at PC Authority, the role his journalism played in the battle against video game classification, as well as his epic NBN pieces, which were the centre of so much attention — both good and bad.
 
The bad, of course, were accusations that as a journalist at a public broadcaster, Ross wasn’t fulfilling his role of writing objectively about the project. That turned into a Media Watch controversy that even roped in now-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. It’s an experience Ross described as “incredibly hurtful”.
 
“I learnt a lot about stress, anxiety and depression when Media Watched lied about that, and it was certainly the biggest low point of my career, and I don’t think I can ever forgive them,” Ross said. “However, I’m glad I was able to leave the ABC with my integrity intact.”
 
Ross hasn’t ruled out a return to journalism at some point down the track, but equally it’s not something he’s giving any active consideration to. He’ll remain at PC World for the next four weeks, where he’ll be focused on getting whoever takes over the position, trained up for the role.

“There aren’t too many reviewers out there with a lot of SEO experience, so the sooner we can get someone on board, the more help I can give them brushing up their skills in that area,” he said.
 
The position involves overseeing IDG’s two B2C mastheads, PC World and Good Gear Guide, with requirements as follows: 
 
  • Proven ability to review technology products.
  • An understanding of SEO and how to create content that is fundamentally justified by the Google-related traffic it brings in.
  • Ability to self-edit and publish grammatically-correct content without any other proof reading.
  • Be able to work with the commercial team, helping generate leads and building industry relationships without compromising editorial integrity.
  • Have a strong relationship with Australian technology industry and PR.
  • Ability to commission and edit third-party-written content.
  • Ability to write separate advertorial and custom content for the publisher and their clients.
  • Have moderate photography skills including editing.
  • Familiarity with Google Analytics.
  • Be able to work with a multimedia-rich Content Management System.

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O’Brien to helm audio NewsCast

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Ainslee O’Brien (pictured) is starting the week as the new chief of News Corp Australia’s NewsCast podcasting division.

B and T reported that News Corp Australia’s recent successes with podcasts Who the Hell is Hamish?, True Crime, and The Teacher’s Pet warranted the development of a special podcasting arm. NewsCast will focus on audio content for the company’s subscription and platform business.

Although O’Brien is occupied with building NewsCast’s staff list, she will remain as News DNA’s GM for commercial integration.

“I am incredibly excited to expand my role and lead News Corp Australia’s audio network. News Corp has bold ambitions for audio, both here and globally, and we are committed to delivering a strong audio network for our consumers and our customers,” said O’Brien of her appointment.

“I look forward to working with our colleagues globally to align our audio offering and with industry bodies

ABC inks new business deal with CBC

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The ABC has struck a new three-year creative and business partnership with Canadian national broadcaster CBC.

The MOU will have both companies teaming up on new podcasts and new drama, comedy, and children’s TV series. Co-finance and sales options are also factored in the deal, as well as a new education initiative for schools in Australia and Canada on misinformation and how to combat them.

“In a world of global media giants, the outstanding and accessible content produced by like-minded public broadcasters is more important than ever,” said ABC managing director David Anderson.

“This collaboration between the ABC and CBC will drive our limited resources further, leveraging our strengths to create and share distinctive content that connects with audiences at home and overseas.”

Binjang Community Radio told to vacate

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Binjang Community Radio 91.5 has been forced to find a new location in Wellington, NSW.

The Wellington Council has ordered the station to vacate its home building, which is adjacent to the Wellington Visitor Information Centre in Nanima Crescent, by 30 September 2019. The council is looking to establish the Wellington Wiradjuri Tourism Experience on the station premises.

Station manager Tony Graham said staff have been on the move to scout for potential replacement sites. The best location they found, however, would require up to $40k in remodelling to bring up to operational standards. The station only pays $1 in annual rent fees at the current location since starting up in 2012.

The Dubbo Regional Council could only pledge up to $15k in relocation assistance, although council CEO Michael McMahon said he would find a way to make the transfer as seamless as possible.

Garde joins Hit100.9

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Grace Garde has joined Hit100.9 Hobart as its new workdays host, starting 17 June 2019.

One of Radio Today‘s Top New Talent to Watch in 2019, Garde recently exited a breakfast hosting job at Power FM in Nowra. The move to Hit 100.9 is also her return to Southern Cross Austereo since working on promotions at the network’s Gosford, NSW operations years ago.

“I am so excited to start working in Hobart! I enjoy wearing big coats and hats, so I’m looking forward to arriving in Hobart’s winter to expand my wardrobe. The Hobart team seem so hardworking, really talented, and a lot of fun - I am humbled to be joining them and can't wait to get started!,” said Garde of her new opportunity.

Tune in with Garde on Twitter @GradeGarde and on LinkedIn.

New staff in at Guardian Australia

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The Guardian Australia has new people in the workplace.

Editor Lenore Taylor announced on Twitter that Ben Butler is coming in as a senior business reporter, having recently exited The Australian.

Freelancer reporter Adam Morton is drafted as environment editor.

Investigative reporter Anne Davies moves up as investigations editor.

Laura Murphy-Oates is joining the paper as host of a new flagship podcast after over six years at SBS and NITV. Producer Miles Martignoni, however, said Oates will take up a temporary hosting gig with Triple J’s Hack show for the next month, then start with the podcast. Oates joins Triple J breakfast newsreader Alice Matthews and Hack reporter Avani Dias as one of three substitute hosts for the show; current host Tom Hilley is set for temporary duties with ABC's Foreign Correspondent.   

Roe joins ABC Sydney

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

ABC Radio Brisbane presenter Isobel Roe has resettled in Sydney.

She moved to continue handling the current affairs beat for ABC Radio, out of the Sydney studios, hosting AM, PM, and The World Today.

Roe first worked with the ABC back in 2012 as producer of Spencer Howson’s breakfast show then started reporting out of Toowoomba in 2016 after a short stint with Southern Cross Austereo.

Follow her on Twitter @IsobelRoe and on LinkedIn.

Morton finishes The Australian service

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Rick Morton is no longer with The Australian.

Morton went on Twitter to confirm AFR columnist Myriam Robin’s report that he had indeed left The Aus after seven years as social affairs writer. He last submitted a story to the paper on 18 May 2019.

He stated that he will use his downtime from work to start writing a new book, following the success of his best seller, One Hundred Years of Dirt.

“Mostly, however, leaving is tough because I did work I am exceptionally proud of over those years. I don’t subscribe to the belief that journalism is inherently heroic, but you can do good things. I think I did some good things,” Morton added.

Follow Morton on Twitter @SquigglyRick.

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